Auckland City Council
Minister Challenged Over Traffic Claims
Auckland City Councillor Frank Ryan, a former Mayor of Mount Albert, and Chairman of the Transition Committee which
managed the establishment of the new
Auckland City in 1989, has challenged the present Minister of Local Government to justify his claim that council
controlled traffic departments were "unsatisfactory".
Mr Williamson made this comment in a radio statement yesterday.
Councillor Ryan said "when they were operating, local authority traffic departments, including those run by Mount Albert
and Auckland cities, were the envy of the country, and were run at no cost to ratepayers.
Apart from enforcement activities, they had a tremendous record of service to their communities with such operations as
excellent public road safety campaigns. Their work done in Auckland schools with a very successful education programme
made a huge contribution to traffic and road saefty awareness among pupils across all age groups.
When large scale activities took place anywhere in the city, the council traffic department was always on duty ensuring
safe and orderly dispersal of traffic after such major events as rugby test matches, race meetings, parades and other
activities which attracted large crowds.
Mr Williamson has a very short memory if he cannot remember those factual illustrations of the worth of council traffic
departments." said Councillor Ryan.
Since council traffic departments were abolished by central government legislation, the service operated by the merged
police and traffic forces has not been as effective as those operated by councils.
In spite of contracts which were intended to ensure service quality, the performance has not reached comparable levels.
"Time and time again I hear comments about the invisibility of the present operation. The days when black and white cars
had a presence all over the city have gone, and road safety and traffic control is the poorer for that.
There is no evidence to support claims that the merged police operation has been more effective than the former council
traffic departments, and certainly none to back up the Minister's claim that the local authority departments were
The Minister's rather silly statement is a nonsense.